UAMS Opens Radiation Oncology Center

By Nate Hinkel

“By becoming the sole provider of radiation cancer treatment for our patients, UAMS will offer a complete spectrum of comprehensive cancer services in one location,” said UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D.

Previously, radiation treatment was provided in partnership with CARTI on the UAMS campus. However, under a mutual agreement, CARTI’s affiliation with UAMS ended June 29, 2012, and the university assumed responsibility for all radiation oncology on its campus.

UAMS physicians will continue to staff the new Radiation Oncology Center and are led by Vaneerat Ratanatharathorn, M.D., chair of the UAMS Radiation Oncology Department and professor in the UAMS College of Medicine. Most of the nurses and other staff members whom patients have come to know will remain.

“We are committed to providing the highest quality cancer care. Our Radiation Oncology Center staff and faculty are highly skilled and have a long history of delivering excellent radiation treatment in our state. We are honored to have them as an important part of the UAMS cancer treatment team,” said Peter Emanuel, M.D., Cancer Institute director.

According to the National Cancer Institute, about half of all cancer patients receive some type of radiation therapy during the course of their treatment. The UAMS Cancer Institute is Arkansas’ only academic cancer center and offers comprehensive cancer treatment and support services backed by the university’s research programs.

In addition to adult patients, children treated by UAMS pediatric oncologists at Arkansas Children’s Hospital will be treated at the center.

“We recognize the unique needs of our pediatric patients and their families and are dedicated to ensuring compassionate care for them and all of our patients,” Emanuel said.

The process has begun to replace the two existing linear accelerators in the center. The new Varian Truebeam STX linear accelerators are state-of-the-art, digitally controlled accelerators that provide precise, accelerated radiation therapy and radiosurgery, which can shorten the overall cancer treatment course and each individual treatment session. Treatment with the new accelerators is expected to begin in late 2012.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. Named best Little Rock metropolitan area hospital by U.S. News & World Report, it is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has more than 2,800 students and 775 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit or